The Student Senate passed a proposal which resolves the donor eligibility as set by the Food & Drug Administration and the Red Cross as being discriminatory against homosexual men. The decision will not prevent the Red Cross from collecting blood on the campus. Almost all present voted in favor of the resolution. Senator John Gagnon voted against the proposal and Senator Adam Mirmelli abstained.
Any time a person gives blood he or she must answer the question “are you a male who has had sex with another male since 1977, even once?” If the donor answers yes, he can’t donate blood or platelets.
“There is no legitimate reason, in my research, why this policy is still intact in blood donation,” said Senator Bossie when explaining the need for the resolution to the senate. “I am, of course, not in favor of banning the Red Cross from campus.”
The Resolution: “… The Student Senate deems policies set forth by the United States Food & Drug Administration and the American Red Cross pertaining to blood donor eligibility as discriminatory. The Student Senate will advocate for a blood donation process that is fair to all students regardless of sexual orientation, as current policies violate the Student Senate’s Mission Statement and the University of Southern Maine’s Diversity Plan. Likewise, the Student Senate urges the University of Southern Maine to reiterate its opposition to discriminatory practices and restate the continued need for all organizations on the university campus to treat all individuals in a fair, equitable manner.”
Senator John Gagnon tried to block consideration of the motion but was overruled by Senate Chair Ezekiel Kimball. “I don’t feel that this concerns USM,” he said after the meeting.